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Google Ad Impression Fraud at StumbleUpon

Posted on 7.08.2007

There are some rumblings in the affiliate/publisher industries about how the use of Stumbleupon, the immensely popular social browsing service recently purchased by EBay, may be the reason that many webmasters are having their AdSense accounts banned recently. Many of these Adsense publishers are receiving emails citing  "invalid ad impressions" as the reason. For those in the know, invalid ad impressions is simply a nice way of saying "fraud".

What Is Invalid Impressions Fraud?
Invalid impressions fraud is when a large number of impressions are generated on your Web property without any accompanying clicks on advertisements (a red flag may be a CTR - click-through rate - of less than 1%). Publishers that Google identifies as providing fraudulent impressions have artificially inflated ad impressions which causes the click-through rates of advertisers to plummet and bid prices to rise accordingly. The practice, which is often used by an advertisers' competitor, could potentially cause an advertising campaign to be shut down as a very low click through rate results. Since Google's focus is advertisers, you can see why they may be sending out these banned notices.

If you do get notification from Google that you are banned, is suggesting that you "contact AdSense and tell them that you will lower the number of your ad units and ask them to give you some test period where you can increase your CTR above the minimum. Actually most publisher are afraid to get banned for high CTR, but in this case having low CTR is also a big problem." Good advice; but you could always move to another publisher platform as there are hundreds to choose from - few of which factor in impressions into their bid prices as does Google.

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